Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte
Print version ISSN 1517-8692
CHAVES, Christianne Pereira Giesbrecht; SIMAO, Roberto and ARAUJO, Claudio Gil Soares de. Lack of flexibility variation during menstrual cycle in university students. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2002, vol.8, n.6, pp. 212-218. ISSN 1517-8692. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-86922002000600002.
BACKGROUND: Some physical components are markedly influenced by the different phases of menstrual cycle (MC); however, there is little information about changes in flexibility. OBJECTIVES: To analyze the behavior of corporal flexibility - global, per joints and per movements - in adult young women during different phases of the MC. METHODS: A sample of 15 women was studied. The experimental group (EG) included students with regular MC, and the control group (CG) had students that had been taking oral contraceptives (OC) for at least one month. Data concerning the MC and OC use were acquired by questionnaire. The flexibility was evaluated by Flexitest, allowing a global analysis of flexibility (Flexindex), per joints, per movements and its variability. The Flexindices were compared with corresponding percentiles as to gender and age. For the statistical analysis in three phases of the EG - follicular, ovulatory and luteal - and the CG in two different moments - between the days 5 and 26 of the MC, ANOVA and T-test were used as appropriate. RESULTS: There were no significant differences in flexibility, per movements or Flexindex during the phases of MC in the EG or in the CG (p > 0.05). The Flexindex percentiles ranged from 14 to 35 for the CG, and from 14 to 80 for the EG. No significant differences between the joints and the variability indices during the MC were observed (p > 0.05), except for the distal-proximal variability indices between the follicular and ovulatory phases on the EG. CONCLUSION: These data do not corroborate the empirical impression that flexibility changes during MC phases. However, it is possible that the lack of variation could have occurred due to some sample characteristics or to Flexitest limitations in identifying small changes, which poses the need for other studies.
Keywords : Flexibility; Menstrual cycle; Oral contraceptive.